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Lolita Lopez & Mike Tauber
Federal Investigators raided a San Marino Pharmacy Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged multi-million dollar scheme involving Medicare.
Sixteen people were arrested Thursday on suspicion of taking part in an elaborate $18 million Medicare fraud scheme that investigators say involved a San Marino pharmacy and a Glendale medical clinic.
A federal criminal complaint contends a doctor at Manor Medical Imaging Clinic of Glendale wrote prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs.
The drugs, which included Abilify, Seroquel and Zyprexa, were billed to Medicare and Medi-Cal but didn’t go to those recruited for the scheme. Instead, the drugs were allegedly sent to black market wholesalers and then funneled to the San Gabriel Valley pharmacies, where they were repackaged so they could be re-dispensed.
The main pharmacy named in the complaint — Huntington Pharmacy in San Marino — had fewer than $45,000 in Medi-Cal claims in 2009 but nearly $1.5 million last year, and most were prescriptions from the Manor’s doctor, according to the criminal complaint.
“This was initiated in 2009, so the investigation has been ongoing,” said Sergeant Jay Wilburn of the San Marino Police Department.
The scheme caused at least $7.3 million in direct losses to Medicare and Medi-Cal, according to the Department of Justice.